This handout provides information to military personnel about the tax rules related to PCS moves.
The value of moving and storage services provided by the Government in connection with PCS or ETS moves usually has no tax consequences, since the amount provided usually matches the actual costs. However, if the reimbursements or allowances received from the Government, not including the dislocation allowance (DLA), temporary lodging expense (TLE), temporary lodging allowance (TLA), and the move in housing allowance (MIHA), are more than the actual costs, the military member must include the excess in income.
If the total reimbursements or allowances, including DLA, TLE, TLA, and MIHA, are less than actual expenses, the military member may claim the difference as a moving expense adjustment on IRS Form 1040, line 24. The military member may claim the adjustment, even if he or she does not itemize. Deductible expenses include the cost of packing, crating, and transporting household goods, POVs, and pets from the former home to the new home; storing and insuring the goods for up to 30 consecutive days after the pickup date; connecting and disconnecting utilities; and reasonable travel expenses, including lodging, but not meals. All moving expenses should be documented by receipts.
The moving expense adjustment is claimed on Form 3903 for moves to the United States, and on Form 3903F for moves to a foreign location.
Remember, each case is different. This summary gives you general information only. It is not a substitute for talking with a lawyer. You may consult a legal assistance attorney.
For more tax information, contact your Unit Tax Advisor or the Tax Assistance Center at 684-4986.